Old Fort Bayou Road about to get a safety makeover - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Old Fort Bayou Road about to get a safety makeover

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Work to improve safety along Old Fort Bayou Road should being in the next few months, once all of the property is acquired. Work to improve safety along Old Fort Bayou Road should being in the next few months, once all of the property is acquired.
ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) -

Every morning and afternoon, a dangerous vehicular ballet is performed on Old Fort Bayou Road near the St. Martin Schools. Sheriff's deputies try and make everything go smoothly. 

That process will be helped along, because Jackson County supervisors have voted to begin buying property that will be needed to widen the road, among other things.

"We're going to realign that curve on the southern end and it's actually going to take that bad 90 degree turn out of the road and put a signal there and make a traditional intersection at Yellowjacket and Old Fort Bayou Road," District 4 Supervisor Troy Ross explained. "It's going to greatly enhance safety out there."

What will also be enhanced is the safety of something even more precious. 

"U and down this road, you have approximately 3,500 students in the three schools, from St. Martin Middle, St. Martin Upper and St. Martin High School traveling back and forth every day," Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Michael Van Winkle said. "So anything we can do improve the safety of those students arriving and leaving every day would be very important to us."

The dangerous conditions on Old Ford Bayou Road not only affect thousands of school children and the parents who drive them to school, but also the people who live nearby. Many of those neighbors have witnesses the carnage on the road for years. 

"In the 15 years I've been here, I've seen about 40 different accidents, within the curve right here and right up beside the curve here," homeowner Mitchell Jimerson recalled.

"This is a dangerous road," said Chris Lawrence, who also owns a home on the road. "It's supposed to be about 30 or 35 miles and hour, but they go 50 or 60 miles an hour down here and along the houses. They won't allow the people to even come out of the driveways, you know." 

The first phase of the project will cost close to $2 million, and should take about a year and a half to complete. Work should being in the next few months, once all of the property is acquired.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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